In early August 2021, the Philippines Australia Awards and Alumni Engagement Team hosted a virtual Regional Gender Equality, Disability and Social Inclusion (GEDSI) Leadership Summit, themed: “Breaking Barriers: Working Together Towards Inclusive Recovery”.
The summit promoted gender equality and women empowerment as a means to contribute to growth, peace, security, development and stability. It brought together over 700 Australia Awards alumni and key stakeholders from across the Indo-Pacific region, to discuss GEDSI, create meaningful conversations and share best practices towards advocacy.
Mr. Veremo Muria, who completed a Master of Social Science from Western Sydney University, was one of the many Fiji alumni who participated. Veremo works for the Ministry of Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation in Fiji and said “the content of this summit was very relevant to my work. With the COVID19 pandemic sweeping across the globe, countries need to adapt to the new normal and it is high time for us to be the voice for the voiceless, breaking barriers and working together towards an inclusive recovery”.
Veremo further stated “the three days intensive summit has contributed a lot towards my basket of knowledge in the areas of gender equality, disability and social inclusion. We covered topics ranging from inclusive recoveries, child protection and child trafficking and empowering persons living with disabilities in the new normal. The resources and the interaction with fellow alumni from across the region have enabled me to learn new things and most importantly widened my networking and support networks. It is wonderful to see how successful my fellow Alumni have become in trying to make a difference in their community and in their country as a whole. The initiatives that they come up with to address social problems is phenomenal. Such success stories shared through the summit motivates me as an alumnus to do the same in my country and make GEDSI a matter of actions and not just a matter of discussions at all levels of society”.
The summit was a great opportunity for leaders in the GEDSI space to collaborate, learn and inspire, and it did just that! We thank the Australia Awards Philippines team for organising such a valuable event and look forward to more regional opportunities to network and drive change!